Respiratory research

Airway allergen exposure stimulates bone marrow eosinophilia partly via IL-9.

PMID 15823208


Interleukin (IL)-9 is a Th2-derived cytokine with pleiotropic biological effects, which recently has been proposed as a candidate gene for asthma and allergy. We aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of a neutralizing anti-IL-9 antibody in a mouse model of airway eosinophilic inflammation and compared any such effect with anti-IL-5 treatment. OVA-sensitized Balb/c mice were intraperitoneally pretreated with a single dose (100 microg) of an anti-mouse IL-9 monoclonal antibody (clone D9302C12) or its vehicle. A third group was given 50 microg of a monoclonal anti-mouse IL-5 antibody (TRFK-5) or its vehicle. Animals were subsequently exposed to OVA on five days via airways. Newly produced eosinophils were labelled using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). BrdU+ eosinophils and CD34+ cell numbers were examined by immunocytochemistry. After culture and stimulation with OVA or PMA+IC, intracellular staining of IL-9 in bone marrow cells from OVA-exposed animals was measured by Flow Cytometry. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used to determine significant differences between groups. Anti-IL-9 significantly reduced bone marrow eosinophilia, primarily by decrease of newly produced (BrdU+) and mature eosinophils. Anti-IL-9 treatment also reduced blood neutrophil counts, but did not affect BAL neutrophils. Anti-IL-5 was able to reduce eosinophil numbers in all tissue compartments, as well as BrdU+ eosinophils and CD34+ progenitor cells, and in all instances to a greater extent than anti-IL-9. Also, FACS analysis showed that IL-9 is over-expressed in bone marrow CD4+ cells after allergen exposure. Our data shows that a single dose of a neutralizing IL-9 antibody is not sufficient to reduce allergen-induced influx of newly produced cells from bone marrow to airways. However, in response to allergen, bone marrow cells over-express IL-9. This data suggest that IL-9 may participate in the regulation of granulocytopoiesis in allergic inflammation.